1985 - Volume #9, Issue #3, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Ear Notch ID SystemAn ear-notching system that traces each pig back to its parents helps Don Kleinjans, Volga, S. Dak., monitor his operation at a glance as he walks through his barns.
Keeping track of each pig lets Kleinjans know how fast they get ready for market. Checking his records he can also quickly determine date of birth of each pig, birth weight, weaning weight, number of pigs per litter, number of pigs born live, and the number of pigs that died. The information becomes the basis for breeding selection.
Essentially Kleinjans assigns a 4-digit number to each of the approximately 2,500 animals he finishes each year. He does it by notching the week of birth in the right ear - numbering 1 to 52 - and the pig number for a particular week - 1 to 99 - in the left ear. For example, a pig born on November 20th might be identified with the number 4726 identifying it as the 26th pig born in the 47th week of the year. All data about that pig is entered into a computer and can be recalled simply by punching in the ID number.
The system used to notch each ear is a modification of ear notching methods used on other livestock. He simply assigns numbers to different parts of the ear and then puts in the number of notches needed to add up to the ID number needed. He assigns a 10 and 30 to the spots closest to the head and a 1 and 3 to the opposite midway points of the ear. A value of 5 is given to the end point of the ear.
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